DaoDeJing serves as one of the two foundational sources for Chinese culture. Other societies have tried to understand this collection of wisdom-metaphors, usually superimposing their own assumptions on this unique tradition. This 21st-century translation of the ancient Chinese wisdom-metaphors of DaoDeJing has been influenced by previous English translations, yet it radically departs from them. 19th century English grammar-syntax-semantics proposed extremely limited ranges of meanings for the Chinese characters. This work seeks to update and modernize contemporary meanings and bonds between European and Chinese cultures, and their languages. Using the interpreting lens of Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy of organism, commonly known as "process philosophy," DaoDeJing: a Process Perspective explores multiple layers, meanings, and values underlying ancient Chinese culture. For more than 4,000-years, these meanings have created the fabric of a growing contemporary influence in politics and economics. Western thinkers are just beginning to appreciate their nuances and profound importance. This new, organic translation seeks to answer a series of epistemological-cosmological questions starting with, "What's happening here?" From the perspective of "events," rather than "objects-with-characteristics," it explores subtle yet profound meanings by focusing on the "action" occurring between and among the Chinese characters. Where normative definitions have been accepted routinely by scholars, this work investigates the deeper relationships operating within the structure of the wisdom-metaphors, individually and collectively. This scholarship makes bold suggestions for ethical-living and social-governance, providing opportunities for engagement between two quite different cultures and civilizations. It also presents a constructive alternative to the current Western model of competing-dominating-exploiting. DaoDeJing promotes cooperating between "contrasts," dynamically-transforming those contrasts into a harmonious balance. This function is quite different from the standard western model of "compromise," where each component of the "contrast" experiences no real fulfillment, instead settling for something deemed hierarchically inferior. The dynamic-transforming of DaoDeJing yields a creative advance for all contrasting elements. It is not a "zero-sum" contest. It is an Endlessly-Creating series of dynamically-transforming processes. DaoDeJing offers a profound alternative to western approaches to power where subjugating and dominating yield only rancor and divisiveness. It is our firm hope that the concepts of "balance" and "harmony" in DaoDeJing can offer new vistas of "Creating-Endlessly" for all peoples and cultures.
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About the Author
Yu Fu, received her Ph.D. in science of religion from Zhejiang University. From 2014 to 2016, she was a visiting graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. She has translated three books in the field of comparative religion and theology, and in 2019 contributed to a revised translation of "Matteo Ricci: Letters from China". Her areas of interest include: interreligious dialogue, comparative religion, and cultural interaction between East and West. She is currently Associate Professor, Department of English, Zhejiang University City College, Zhejiang, China.
Susanna Mennicke graduated from Concordia University, with a degree in art history (Summa cum laude), and continued her studies in graphic design. She currently works for a graphics house in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and designs a wide variety of print projects. Her custom font design for this book, and her overall MS layout highlights the harmony of these wisdom-metaphors.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS  Preface...............  Dao Diagram .........  Introduction .........  Translation ............  Commentary ............  Bibliography .........